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Opening of new Dudley Leisure Centre pushed back while designs 'enhanced'

By Richard Guttridge | Dudley | Health | Published:

Designs for a new Dudley leisure centre must be improved and costs revised with its completion date now set to be "ahead of the Commonwealth Games" in 2022.

Dudley's current leisure centre in Wellington Road is set to be replaced

Planners have been ordered to “enhance” initial designs for the new centre, to be built on Flood Street car park, to replace the ageing facility on Wellington Road as part of a £24 million overhaul of leisure facilities in the borough.

But with changes to be made costs may also have to be updated, bosses have admitted.

The plans for a new leisure centre were first revealed nearly two years ago and backed by the council’s cabinet in March last year.

But the extension of the design phase means building work could still be some way off.

It was initially hoped work would start in April and take 12 months but bosses now say the project will be complete “ahead of the Commonwealth Games” in 2022.

Refurbishment

Leisure centres in Stourbridge and Halesowen will also be refurbished as part of a the multi-million pound plans.

Both centres will be given a facelift and feature refurbished pools, new gym facilities, new changing rooms and new cafes.

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But a cabinet report reveals concerns about early designs for the new Dudley centre.

It said: “Alliance are tasked with enhancing the initial Dudley Leisure Centre building design to ensure that the building is of a high quality, in order to set a benchmark for future regeneration.”

Designs and costs for all three leisure centres would be “updated”, the report added.

Dudley’s leisure centre will be demolished once the new site is complete.

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Council leader Patrick Harley said: “We are currently working on the detailed designs for a new leisure centre in Dudley, which is normal with such major capital projects.

"Dudley Leisure Centre will be one of the first major developments in the regeneration of Dudley town centre and it is important the look and facilities it offers reflect the ambition we have to provide a high quality facility the people of Dudley can be proud of.

"We will carry out the same process later this year for both Halesowen and Stourbridge refurbishments.

"All three leisure centres will be completed ahead of the Commonwealth Games, and with their improved facilities, I am sure more people will use them and become more active.”

Richard Guttridge

By Richard Guttridge
Investigations Editor - @RichG_star

Investigations Editor for the Express & Star.

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